Well, it wasn't actually a fight, however Suki was getting VERY snippy about food time. I'll set the scene. The kitchen has baby gates on the two entrances, which can't keep Suki in, but if there's someone in the kitchen will keep her from wandering. When it's feeding time I mix up the food and vitamin supplements in the kitchen. Starting last week, Suki started rushing the baby gate and growling at Frodo whenever he got too close to the gate for Suki's taste. Of course, Frodo wants to stare longingly through the gate at the food being poured into his bowl and I didn't want Suki to start thinking she was top dog because she got to be in the kitchen during meal prep.
So out came the squirt gun and next barking fit she got a blast. This didn't seem to be effective, so next time I put her in her kitchen crate and made her sit in there while I fed Frodo. She whined and cried like she was dying in there.
The final step is something we've done with Frodo since he was a puppy. We put him in a sit-stay, set down the food bowl, and make him sit there until we release him. We're not trying to be cruel, we just want him to know that we are the boss and there's no better way to make this clear to a dog than to control the food bowl.
So, I let Suki out of the crate, put her in a sit-stay and set down the food bowl. As expected she rushed the bowl. I reached down and held her back and she nipped at me, so back in the crate she went. For a minute. This time after being put in the sit-stay she again tried to rush the bowl and again, I foiled her attempt. The third try's a charm, so again she was told to sit, and this time she sat there, every muscle of her body quivering and her eyes locked on mine, waiting for the signal that she could eat. I said "okay", our release word, and she charged the bowl, a little wiser for the experience. I still make her do this now, but she knows the routine and although she doesn't like having to wait the extra 15 or so seconds, she knows that I'm the boss of the food and unless she recognizes that, the food won't get to her stomach.
5 months ago